Q: Manu on Pouring Lead in Sudra Ears

Samar Abbas abbas at IOPB.RES.IN
Sun Jan 30 04:46:56 UTC 2000

> Thu, 27 Jan 2000, Jean Fezas wrote: Gautama dharma-sUtra chapter 12:
> 12.4.   Now if he listens intentionally to (a recitation of) the Veda,
> his ears shall be filled with (molten) tin or lac.

 Generally Manu is blamed for this prescription : the Ambedkar
website seems to imply that Manu was the culprit,
[ http://www.angelfire.com/ak/ambedkar/BRManusmriti.html ] though the
actual citation is apparently Gautama.

Q: Why is Manu so generally blamed for this ? Are there perhaps different
versions of Manu - a stricter Southern version ? Or is it just a case
of popular misconception ? Is Manu actually innocent ? How common was this
`pouring lead into ears' as shown by other literature ?

> Mani Varadarajan <mani at SHASTA.STANFORD.EDU> wrote on Mon, 9 Nov 1998 :
> "If I recall, such a pronouncement is not found in the manu-smRti
> but in the gautama dharma-SAstra."

Online Manu Smirti [ http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/india/manu-full.html ]
does not contain any such law.

Q:: Where did Gautama live ? Perhaps in the South ? Does he pre-date or
post-date Manu ? In which parts of India/periods of history was/is Gautama
followed ? Which sects accept him instead of Manu ? How much influence did
they have on each other ? If Gautama post-dates Manu, does it indicate a
hardening of caste rules with time ? Or is Gautama, generally thought of
as a `follower of Manu' citing a now-lost law of Manu ? Or are Gautama and
his rule in fact insignificant ?


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